ASLN fellow shines at OFAB media awards in Nigeria
Mahmoud B. Maina
Abdullahi Nuhu Tsanni a 2019 African Science Literacy Network (ASLN) Fellow on Friday night, last week in Abuja, has emerged the Best Agricultural Biotechnology Reporter for print and online category cum overall Best Journalist of The Year at the 3rd Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) in Africa Nigeria Media Awards 2019.
The third edition of the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa (OFAB) Nigeria chapter`s annual media awards is dedicated to celebrating Nigerian journalists and their efforts in promoting science including agricultural biotechnologies and to recognize exemplary science journalism that stimulates best practices in the adoption of agricultural technologies in Nigeria.
In her opening remarks at the media awards ceremony on Friday, Dr. Rose Maxwell Gidado, country coordinator of the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa (OFAB) Nigeria said: “[The] OFAB in Africa organizes an award ceremony every year to encourage journalists and motivate them to do their best. Hence, we are here to give away this year`s awards in three categories, namely: Best TV; Best Radio; and Best Print.” Gidado noted that the awards were not just for recognizing those journalists who have performed exceptionally well in their reportage, but also to honor those who were proactive and have contributed greatly to deepening the understanding of modern biotechnology in the country, in the last one year.
Abdullahi Tsanni a freelance science journalist and reporter of African Newspage emerged the Best Agricultural Biotechnology Reporter and Journalist of The Year 2019 for his entry titled: “GMO debate affects public sentiment in Nigeria,” among his several other media narrations about science published in both local and international media platforms including Nature (international science journal), Alliance for Science, Genetic Literacy Project (GLP), among others.
“I have always wanted to make an impact on this society, in my own little way. And I thought I would quietly do it through research in the laboratory, probably, because I`m an introvert. But again, I realized: if I don’t report and write about science nothing is [ever] going to change,” tweeted the award-winning journalist, under the handle @abdultsanni at 7:56am [Nigerian time] shortly after receiving the awards, on Saturday November 9, 2019.
“Our work as [science] journalists are critically important to shaping public opinion on issues and matters that are bothering our society. Thus, let us strive to illuminate and empower the public as well as policymakers with credible, evidence-based scientific findings and information; so that they can make the best decisions,” urged Tsanni, who was one of only few selected Nigerian science journalists trained by the ASLN initiative.
The Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa (OFAB) Nigeria is an initiative of the Nairobi, Kenya-based African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) launched in 2006; it is aimed at enhancing knowledge sharing and awareness creation on agricultural biotechnology as well as to facilitate quality public engagement on the use and application of modern agricultural biotechnology in Nigeria.